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London Country

25th October 1968
Page 33
Page 33, 25th October 1968 — London Country
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Bus Service by Derek Moses

• The Transport Holding Company has formed a new company—London Country Bus Service—with a nominal capital of £100 in £1 shares. The company has been formed to facilitate the possible transfer of services, at present operated by the London Transport Board's green country buses, together with the Green Line network of coach services, to the National Bus Company.

A spokesman for the THC said that it was a "prudent measure" in case proposals contained in July's White Paper Transpor1 in London were put into effect. Under these proposals (CM July 5) the central red buses operated by London Transport, together with the entire Underground network, would be transferred to the Greater London Council. The green bus services and the Green

Line coaches would be transferred to the National Bus Company.

It would seem that it is the intention, if the proposals become law, to establish a separate company to operate the buses "shed" by London Transport, rather than to integrate country services with those of adjacent NBC undertakings, as was anticipated by many people when the White Paper was first published.

In December 1967, London Transport's green country bus fleet consisted of a total of 959 buses. The Green Line coach fleet numbered 296 singleand double-deck coaches. This would give the London Country Bus Service a fleet of more than 1,200 buses and coaches, if a straight swop in control took place.

A spokesman of London Transport con firmed that, in fact, the operating territory of the central red buses did not coincide with the GLC boundaries. In many cases the red buses operated outside the GLC area, so a "clean" switch of green buses to the new company might not be made. There might be cases in which "red" bus services were transferred to the new NBC undertaking and some "green" country buses might also be switched to the GLC controlled undertaking.

All this assumes that the policy outlined in the White Paper is enacted. The GL t is anxious to gain control of the buses operating inside Greater London, but only if certain conditions are met. One of these is that LTB be made into a debt-free undertaking before any change of control takes place.

What is perhaps most interesting is the proposal that the Green Line coach service should be transferred to NBC control. Although they start from places far afield, such as Crawley, Guildford, Sevenoaks, Windsor, Luton, Aylesbury and Hertford, most of the services pass right through the centre of Greater London. The decision, however, is probably based on the fact that the majority of the coaches are garaged in country bus garages, and would, therefore, fit in more naturally with the proposed undertaking rather than with the central red buses.

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